Billy Collins

(22 March 1941 - / New York City)

The First Dream


The Wind is ghosting around the house tonight
and as I lean against the door of sleep
I begin to think about the first person to dream,
how quiet he must have seemed the next morning

as the others stood around the fire
draped in the skins of animals
talking to each other only in vowels,
for this was long before the invention of consonants.

He might have gone off by himself to sit
on a rock and look into the mist of a lake
as he tried to tell himself what had happened,
how he had gone somewhere without going,

how he had put his arms around the neck
of a beast that the others could touch
only after they had killed it with stones,
how he felt its breath on his bare neck.

Then again, the first dream could have come
to a woman, though she would behave,
I suppose, much the same way,
moving off by herself to be alone near water,

except that the curve of her young shoulders
and the tilt of her downcast head
would make her appear to be terribly alone,
and if you were there to notice this,

you might have gone down as the first person
to ever fall in love with the sadness of another.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
4 person liked.
3 person did not like.

Form:


Read poems about / on: dream, alone, woman, house, sleep, water, fire, wind, animal, women

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The First Dream by Billy Collins )

Read all 2 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Caged Bird
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Baby I'm Sorry, Garrett Nakai
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. If, Rudyard Kipling
  7. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  9. Alone, Maya Angelou
  10. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
[Hata Bildir]